Tag Archives: laser

Boat Ownership

After years of borrowing a laser class sailboat from the Snake Bay Sailing Club, The old club shut down and sold all the boats to members of Sunshine Coast Sailing Association SCSA.

This has great increased the number of boats we have sailing out on the water on any given day to 13 and it great to see the old SBSC boats out on the water again!

Metal fatigued goose neck
Metal fatigued goose neck

I was also able to acquire the boat I was borrowing for a number of years and as soon as I took ownership of it, stuff of course started breaking.

“Boat is a hole of which your pour money into.”

But it’s so much fun and worth the maintenance and upkeep.

The rivets popped on the gooseneck during a race and then a the metal gooseneck crack after 40 years of use.

I found that my mast step was also leaking which is an indication of frail mast step. I did pour some epoxy down the tube which stopped the leak but it didn’t resolve the entire problem.

Mast Step total failure :-(
Mast Step total failure ūüôĀ

During our yearly Poise Cove Regatta I was hiking out and reeling in the main sheet on route to the first race of the morning. Five seconds to the start and I heard a crack and the mast fell. Later inspection revealed the mast step had major fatigue. I don’t believe

reinforcing the mast step would have resolved this issue. As unhappy and expensive as a

mast step replacement is. It will be a solid replacement.

I also decided to replace the sail with a practice sail since the original one showed it’s years of wear. Since it was a practice sail and not an official laser class sail for

Laser sailboat don't have names they have numbers. I gave this practices sail number 503.
Laser sailboat don’t have names they have numbers. I gave this practices sail number 503.

racing.  I could choose any numbers I wanted. In talking with Ben Lobaugh about which numbers to choose we joked about using the http status codes the most well known one being 404 which is file or page not found. Then we though what about 402 which is payment required. Which is quite appropriate for the sport of sailing.

We ended up deciding on the code 503 which mean “Server unavailable” This usually means the server has temporary stopped accepting request or it too busy.

Applying this to terminology to a human it could also mean. “Bugger off I am sailing” I will be back later.

To me sailing is a leaving all of the technology we use every day on the dock. Grab your tiller and and your main sheet and have some fun all the power you need will be in the wind.

Old rivet hole so used rivets couldn’t fit anymore, so we flipped the mast and drilled new ones.
Shiny new gooseneck in comparison to the old mast.

 

Snake Bay Sailing Club Laser with a reefed sail on the shores of Porpoise Bay in Sechelt, BC.

Porpoises with Lasers

With apologies to Dr. Evil for this post title… Last summer I kept on seeing small sailboats out in Porpoise Bay and it looked like fun. But I though they were all privately owned. Then later in the summer I saw one of the small boats come into the boat launch beside the Lighthouse Pub and it was the first time heard about The Snake Bay Sailing Club.  (Update: The Snake Bay Club has disbanded and the Sunshine Coast Sailing Association has replaced it.)

I contacted Martin Brueck in late August of 2012  and he took me out for a few introductory lessons on his Cal20. It was a great introduction to sailing with its weighted keel, it is a very stable boat. There was something so freeing about being able to capture the wind and make it propel you through the water.

This spring (2013) I contacted Martin again with hopes to get out on the Laser’s this summer.

Easy to Learn, Hard to Master

The lasers are incredibly light incredibly quickly boats that can skim across the water exceedingly quickly and are tons of fun once you figure them out.

When ever I tell someone I have recently taken up lasers sailing. I then have to explain it is a type of sailing boat and then someone makes a joke about “So you’re not sailing on laser beams” No but the name stems from just how quick the boats are.

But with those attributes comes a trade-off they are I incredibly twitchy.¬† You have to be on top of everything or else you’ll be in the water.

The other thing is they can tip or “turtle” ¬†(Turtling means flipping it upside down) somewhat easily but you can right them just as easily. This isn’t a luxury boat where you have martini’s on deck. You’ll have your hands full.

First time I went out on the laser I went out with Martin he came along for some extra weight and if I did flip the boat he would be there. Winds were light and we made it easily navigated around Porpoise Bay.

2nd time was more enjoyable and perfect for my first solo trip. Winds were constant and the gusts were manageable. It was a beautiful spring evening.

It is both amazingly simple and somewhat complex at exactly the same time. With only the tiller, main sheet and your body weight to control the boat. I found it was like the ISO, aperture and shutter speed of a camera. They all did different things but are all interdependent on each other to get the job done.

The third time was a different beast entirely. The wind as come up and created small whitecaps on Porpoise Bay along with winds gusting at times to 15 knots / 25 kms. I was simply to much of a beginner to really enjoy the wind as it was.

There was more then a couple OH S&^*$&^ moments but I got the boat to Porpoise Bay Beach and back to the club house without capsizing.

The hull is so light and agile and the sail so huge in comparison it doesn’t take much to get the boat going but in high winds that benefit is hard to control for a beginner!

The fourth time I went out the winds were much lighter but were¬†forecasted¬†to build through out the day. ¬†I had decent control over the boat and was learning the how to do a proper jibe and after a couple successful ones I got the boat turned around and took a bath. (Forgive my spelling error on the gybe in the tweet, but I can’t edit a tweet after posting)

Although the water is still a bit cool and righting the boat wasn’t as hard as it would seem with Martin’s verbal cues.

We then¬†reefed¬†the sail to give me less sail to handle in the higher winds of the afternoon and so I wouldn’t turtle the boat again. I then followed the Sunday afternoon sailing races from my own laser.

I look forward to a great summer of sailing lasers on the inlet!

Update: In the summer of 2016 I finally purchased my own boat and all “things” associated with boat ownership.

If you are interesting in laser sailing contact the Sunshine Coast Sailing Association.